Goings On: Buñuel, Tarkovsky, Lynch, and More

On Film / The Daily — Sep 22, 2017


New York. Ben Kenigsberg flags three items in the Times, starting with Art House Theater Day, “a day in which cinemas across the United States and Canada will offer special programming in a show of celebration.” In New York, Thelma Schoonmaker, wife of the late Michael Powell and long-time editor for Martin Scorsese, will introduce Powell and Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death (1946) tomorrow afternoon at Film Forum. And on Sunday, the IFC Center presents Jan Lachauer and Jakob Schuh’s kid-friendly Revolting Rhymes (2016) in the afternoon, followed by Frederick Wiseman’s not-at-all-kid-friendly Titicut Follies (1967)—this is a new 4K scan of the original 16 mm negatives, by the way—followed by Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s The Road Movie (2016).

The second item on Kenigsberg’s list is Jamaa Fanaka: L.A. Rebel, the BAMcinématek series opening today and running through Wednesday. While “Mr. Fanaka is often cited as part of the L.A. Rebellion,” his “work is known for eschewing the poetic realism associated with the movement in favor of genre work.” Item #3, The Power of the Powerless: Five Banned Films from the Czechoslovak New Wave, is a series at the Film Society of Lincoln Center running through the weekend.

Tonight, the FSLC presents Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel (1962), laying the groundwork for the North American premiere of Thomas Adès’s new opera The Exterminating Angel at the Metropolitan Opera on October 26. Before the screening, Paul Cremo, dramaturg and director of the Opera Commissioning Program at the Met, will moderate a discussion with Tom Cairns, who’s adapted the libretto for the opera, Richard Peña, former director of the FSLC and the New York Film Festival, and Oscar Arce, director of the Luis Buñuel Film Institute and head archivist at the Pablo Ferro Film Archives.

The one-year anniversary issue of 4Columns features the first piece by new film editor Melissa Anderson (on Battle of the Sexes) and Ed Halter on Drawings by Mike!, an exhibition on view at Anton Kern Gallery through October 7 presenting “twenty-two neatly framed ink-and-felt-tip-pen cartoons of tousle-haired Caucasian bohunks engaged in a variety of joyously, nakedly homoerotic situations: skinny dipping, crotch grabbing, pec rubbing, tit sucking. Their bare asses are, without exception, spheric and shiny, like the juiciest apple you’d ever hope to bite. . . . The eponymous Mike! is Mike Kuchar, best known as a pioneering experimental filmmaker and the surviving half of the fraternal directorial team of George and Mike Kuchar.”

Also, Ania Szremski writes about Omer Fast, whose 3D digital film August (about German photographer August Sander) sees its New York premiere at James Cohan Gallery within the context of an exhibition on view through October 29. “While in the past Fast has transformed his exhibition spaces into facsimiles of airport lounges or doctor’s waiting rooms, here he has converted the gallery into a neighborhood shop.” The installation also features Fast’s Looking Pretty for God (2008).

On Wednesday, I noted that filmmaker Paul Clipson’s tour of the northeast would bring him to Northampton, Massachusetts today, to Kingston, New York tomorrow, and to COMMEND in NYC on Sunday. “Clipson is an experimenter, a lyrical filmmaker in the tradition of Stan Brakhage,” writes Otie Wheeler, introducing his interview for the Notebook. “His work combines visual music with images of civilization and the natural world to access poetic realms of the unconscious. Without actors or story, his pictures still contain narrative; drama; movement in every direction and dimension. They are a photochemical catalog of the visible world, charged with psychic energy, scored partly by chance, and imbued with a generosity of being. His collaborators are musicians, and his materials are Super 8 and 16 mm film.”

With Also Starring Harry Dean Stanton, opening today and running through October 1, “the Quad Cinema in Manhattan rolls out twenty-one movies that propelled the laconic character actor and his soulfully furrowed countenance to cult stardom,” as Kathryn Shattuck notes in the NYT.

Chicago. “On Saturday and Wednesday the Gene Siskel Film Center is presenting a new restoration of Time to Die, a 1965 Mexican western scripted by not one, but two celebrated novelists, Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes,” writes Ben Sachs. “Both men enjoyed long side careers in cinema (they also collaborated on at least one other project, a 1964 feature called The Golden Cockerel), but unfortunately few of the movies they wrote are available on DVD in this country. This revival provides an exciting introduction to bodies of work that have been unknown objects to U.S. audiences. That Time to Die is also brilliantly directed—and by a 22-year-old neophyte no less—is icing on the cake.” That director is none other than Arturo Ripstein.

Also in the Reader is a substantial preview of this year’s Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, on now through Thursday.

Boston. Writing for WBUR, Sean Burns notes that the Somerville Theatre’s second annual 70mm & Widescreen Festival, running through October 1, “showcases fifteen big-screen spectacles from Steven Spielberg’s worst (Hook) to Alfred Hitchcock’s best (Vertigo) while celebrating antique analog formats that put our current digital presentation to shame.”

London. Speaking of 70 mm, David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962) is back, screening at BFI Southbank through October 3. Naturally, the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw heartily recommends this “exhilarating, immersive experience.”

Manchester. Through September 30, HOME is presenting Not Just Bollywood, a season celebrating “India’s often-under-sung independent cinema scene,” and Andy Willis talks with curator Omar Ahmed “about what’s on offer and why it’s a great time to be celebrating Hindies” (15’04”).

St. Petersburg. The exhibition Andrei Tarkovsky. Artist of Space has just opened at the Stroganov Palace of the State Russian Museum. On view through November 20 are “archival and documentary materials, as well as artworks by a number of authors—artists and photographers who were Tarkovsky’s colleagues, friends, and followers.” Also included are “scripts, letters, sketches of costumes and decorations, posters, a selection of documentary films on Tarkovsky, and so on.”

Bydgoszcz, Poland. The International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography CAMERIMAGE, whose twenty-fifth anniversary edition runs from November 11 through 18, has announced that it’ll be presenting “a unique exhibition, the first one in Europe, of the artistic endeavors of David Lynch,” who’ll be there. “Festival organizers will present around 400 of Lynch's works: from his earliest sketching explorations from 1950s, through his painting/film inspirations from 1960s to his latest works from 2017.”

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